Textile millers want changes to cotton regulations

Bangladeshi mills put forward seven points at a meeting with the International Cotton Association on Thursday, calling for changes in cotton regulations to ensure equal treatment for buyer and seller of cotton.

The points included the requirement of written confirmation for a cotton contract, mediation before arbitration, the requirement of an oral hearing for arbitration, payment of the appeal deposit in local currency and the creation of a laboratory in Bangladesh.

Local textile mills said the rules of the International Cotton Association – the supreme body of cotton buyers and sellers – are currently more favorable to cotton sellers.

After China, Bangladesh is the second largest importer of cotton in the world.

The country’s textile sector accounts for about 65% of annual export earnings.

The country imports cotton from Africa, India, Eastern Europe and Asia, the United States, Australia and Pakistan.

International Cotton Association President Alex Shih-Kang Hsu and Managing Director Bill Kingdon had a scheduled meeting with the BTMA board in Dhaka on Thursday.

According to textile sources, to require written confirmation for any cotton contract, the buyer’s signature must be verified by the buyer himself.

In this regard, the BTMA is positive in providing the cotton association with the contact details of its members and the signatures.

In the event of a dispute between buyer and seller, BTMA advocates an initial investigation prior to arbitration and recognizes BTMA’s investigation as key evidence in arbitration.

In an arbitration, the textile mills say an oral hearing is currently an option.

The millers also demand a testing laboratory in Bangladesh so that quality complaints can be settled jointly by the International Cotton Association and the Bangladesh Standards and Testing Institute.

BTMA Chairman Mohammad Ali Khokon said that despite being the world’s largest buyer of cotton, Bangladeshi millers often do not get enough space in the International Cotton Association.

According to sources, BTMA will seek at least five Bangladeshi members for the board of the cotton association.

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